Press Release: “See the Forest for the Trees” NBAS 2023 Watercolor & Mixed Media Exhibition
Exhibition on Display: October 24, 2023 – January 13, 2024
Virtual Opening Reception: October 26, 2023 at 6:30 pm
In-Person Reception: October 27, 2023 at 6:30 pm
On October 24th, Alfa Art Gallery will feature this year’s rendition of its annual watercolor & mixed media exhibition. Every year, Alfa hosts a series of exhibitions known as New Brunswick Art Salons (NBAS). The initiative of these salons is to provide tri-state artists & beyond with the ability to further connect with the art community, emphasizing the talents of both emerging and professional artists. This fall, Alfa is excited to present its 2023 NBAS Watercolor & Mixed Media Exhibition, “See the Forest for the Trees,” on display from October 24, 2023, to January 14, 2024.
Featuring the awe-inspiring works of Alaiyo Bradshaw, Hana Aviv, Indrani Choudhury, Jill Vondervor-Frank, Joel Popadics, Karen Starrett, Karen Terry, Lauren Curtis, Mark de Mos, Media Atre-Kulkarni, Medy Bozkurtian, Michael Price, Pamela Agin, Peggy Dressel, and Ry An, the diverse artists presented in this salon depict scenes representative of their unique experiences and memories through watercolor and watercolor-based mixed media. The integral goal of “See the Forest for the Trees” is to allow these artists to share these experiences, reminding us to not get too caught up in the little details of life at the expense of looking at the bigger picture. This art salon encourages viewers to soak in the watercolor scenes and inspire new perspectives.
Alfa Art Gallery invites you to stop by and immerse yourself into these brilliant watercolor scenes, open Tuesday through Saturday, from 11am to 6pm.
About the NBAS Exhibitions:
Alfa Art Gallery utilizes New Brunswick Art Salons to unify the local art community and beyond. Since starting the program in 2010, Alfa has made a point to include a salon dedicated to showcasing watercolor & mixed media pieces. Over the years, the series has not only exhibited works from both established and emerging artists, but has also made fruitful connections locally and internationally through its successful programs. Within this non-profit organization, Alfa Art Gallery maintains its mission to uplift artists by providing an open and innovative environment. These exhibitions are free and open to the public, Tuesday to Saturday from 11am to 6pm.
Gallery Opening Reception:
The in-person opening reception will be open to the public, we hope to see you and your friends and family on October 27th at 6:30pm. There will be refreshments and snacks provided. If you are unable to attend, Alfa Art Gallery will also be holding a virtual opening reception on October 26th at 6:30pm. The links to this opening can be found on Alfa’s website and social media closer to the exhibition opening.
Alaiyo Bradshaw, Hana Aviv, Indrani Choudhury, Jill Vondervor-Frank, Joel Popadics, Karen Starrett, Karen Terry, Lauren Curtis, Mark de Mos, Medha Atre-Kulkarni, Medy Bozkurtian, Michael Price, Pamela Agin, Peggy Dressel, Ry An, Sharon Paisner, Lauren Curtis
Alaiyo Bradshaw is a New York-based artist with a passion for inspiring young and emerging artists to grow and learn. Currently, she holds the positions of Associate Professor of Fine Arts and Director of the First Year Program at the Parsons School of Design in New York City. Bradshaw received her training as an illustrator and graphic designer at the School of Visual Arts in New York, where she earned her Masters of Fine Arts, Visual Arts and Illustration. The current president of the Brooklyn Watercolor Society, Bradshaw uses watercolor as a medium to create depth, translucency, and opacity. She thinks of her paintings as single-frame narratives that serve as windows into the subject. Her artwork is linked by repeated formal concerns as well as through its conceptual content.
Hana Aviv is an artist based in New Brunswick, NJ. She started her career in New York City with a biology degree and a dream of being an artist, which she then manifested into reality. She dedicated her evenings to taking countless classes at the Montclair Art Museum, where she was able to channel her love for watercolors, eventually going on to study at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Aviv is an active member of the Garden State Watercolor Society, New Jersey Watercolor Society, and Essex County Watercolor Club and a veteran of the Alfa Art Gallery. She takes inspiration for her paintings from the world around her, especially the soothing elements found in nature. Her watercolor art aims to evoke feelings of serenity by emphasizing the vibrant colors, intricate patterns, and beautiful shapes of nature.
Indrani Choudhury is an Edison-based artist born in Calcutta, India. Dr. Choudhury was a biomedical research scientist for over 25 years who returned to her childhood passion of painting in 2006 and hasn’t looked back since. Today, she is a full-time watercolor artist whose paintings have been exhibited at over a dozen juried art shows and galleries throughout New Jersey. Her paintings span her whole universe, from her local supermarket in New Jersey, to her childhood home in Calcutta, to scenes from travels around the world; she paints to communicate the way she sees the world. A current member of the Philadelphia Watercolor Society, Garden State Watercolor Society, New Jersey Watercolor Society, and Suburban Artists Guild, Choudhury acts as an inspiration to all those who dream of doing what they truly love. Her works are an affirmation of the power of dreams, long deferred and finally fulfilled.
Jill Vondervor-Frank finds joy in creating for remembrance. She reignited her passion for art after retiring from the business world, developing her craft at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, New York School of Visual Arts, du Cret School of Arts, South Orange-Maplewood Adult Night School, and the School of Advertising Art. An exhibiting member and of the Essex Watercolor Club, North East Watercolor Society, Garden State Watercolor Society, and Drew Art Association, Vondervor-Frank continues to enhance her skills by working alongside other talented artists. Drawn to interesting scenes from everyday life, her inspiration comes from her surrounding environment, even keeping a camera in the car to capture just that something in a scene that stimulates her creativity. Through the use of gently differing hues, shapes, and patterns, she is able to depict cohesive images of striking memories that stood out to her.
Joel Popadics is based in Wayne, New Jersey, and has been a professional artist for over 30 years, receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York. His emotionally evoking watercolors have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in galleries and museums across the United States, including previously exhibiting at the Alfa Art Gallery. He is a member of the New Jersey Water Color Society and current Vice President of the prestigious American Watercolor Society in New York City. An advocate of watercolor, Popadics has dedicated his career to the advancement and appreciation of the medium, teaching and leading various workshops and lectures throughout the Northeast. By painting en plein air, he is able to paint scenes exactly as he sees them, paying special attention to the emotional effects of light. His “less is more” mentality encourages his love for hazy scenes of fog and mist, finding satisfaction in his work when he is able to portray the feeling of air.
Karen Starrett is a visual artist based in Ocean Grove, New Jersey, at the Jersey Shore Arts Center. Her main focus is on self expression through the use of collage, paint, and mixed media, finding the appeal of each medium in its physicality. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the Douglass College at Rutgers University and is an alumnus of the School of Visual Arts in New York. As a working artist, certified art teacher, and dementia practitioner Starrett facilitates art workshops in adult care communities. Her love of personal imagery and the use of paper, paint, and mixed media as the foundation of her curriculum, is a continuation of her life as an artist. Her love for collage allows her to transform pre-used printed papers, solid colors, and remnants of past paintings into a new context that holds personal meaning for her.
Karen Terry practices the art of Sumi-e, a Japanese ink wash technique meant to stimulate the imagination. Her educational background includes both traditional studies and creative process work, having studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the Thomas Edison State University. She has exhibited her work in countless museums and galleries across the tri-state area. Although her use of sumi ink is a departure from the classical Eastern brush painting form, Terry’s techniques enable her to work with space, form, ambiance and energy to create soft, low light images of an environment. She finds inspiration in the change of seasons and simple natural images, which she records as landscapes that tap into both visual and sensory memory. She creates low light scenes to inspire perception in viewers, sensing objects and space as a different reality than when fully illuminated.
Mark de Mos views each painting as a puzzle, an endeavor to find the right approach of color and design to create a personal statement within one moment in time. Currently based in Morristown, New Jersey, he has spent his whole career expanding his knowledge and studying with numerous artists and exhibiting his work across the tri-state area, including previously at the Alfa Art Gallery. He is a signature member of countless organizations, including the New Jersey Watercolor Society, Garden State Watercolor Society, North East Watercolor Society, and Baltimore Watercolor Society. De Mos finds the most joy in watercolor, finding his greatest purpose in producing lifelike art that creates movement through color, light and multiple centers of interest. His use of color, differing washes, and brushstrokes come together to perfectly capture a subject’s essence.
Medha Atre-Kulkarni was born in Mumbai, India with a passion for art. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Sir J.J. School of Art in Mumbai, subsequently immigrating to the United States and shifting her career focus from animation to painting and art education. A mother of two, she recognizes the importance of practicing self-care, creating within her time, responsibility, energy and wellbeing limits to ensure she makes the most beautiful art out of her life in every aspect. Atre-Kulkarni’s vivid use of color adds an element of life and earnest emotion to her pieces, meant to inspire creativity and happiness in her audience. She paints beautiful subjects that move her emotionally, utilizing her art as the purest form of divine expression.
Medy Bozkurtian is a Bulgarian-born pianist and artist who immigrated to the United States to study at the Juilliard School of Music and the Art Students League of New York. Her work has been exhibited at many prominent galleries throughout the tri-state area. Through the use of expressive realism, impressionism, and abstract expressionism, she is able to represent the true spirit of her subjects, exhibiting feelings of blissful tranquility. Bozkurtian’s life is encompassed by art, with music playing a key role in her creative process. She paints how music makes her feel, as represented by her more abstract pieces. Her love of music, people, and nature has a clear influence on her work, inspiring her to gracefully blend her subjects and background, creating patterns like a rhythmic measure of flowing notes.
Michael Price was born in Stoke-on-Trent, England, where he studied at the Stoke-on-Trent College of Art, later earning his Bachelor of Arts degree at the London Central School of Art and Design. Throughout his career, he has worked on countless research projects and led numerous lectures worldwide. Price has also exhibited at esteemed galleries both in the United States and internationally. The primary focus of his work is on mythological and psychological archetypes which expose and encompass the innumerable facets of the human condition, inspired by the writings of C.G. Jung and Paul Tillich. His medium of choice is natural mineral pigments, which are hand-ground and prepared from crystals, rocks and natural dyes, a nod to the palettes of Renaissance painters.
Pamela Agin is a contemporary collage artist who embraces abstraction, based in New Jersey. She develops her artistic expression with the creation of each new piece. She creates free from expectation, using her creative process as inspiration and spiritedly coming up with new ideas as her piece takes shape. Her process starts well in advance to the actual creation of each piece, collecting different papers and prints that stimulate her imagination. She utilizes contrasting colors and patterns that entice her audience to deeply analyze a piece’s composition. Following the assembly, she adds hand drawn or painted marks and splatters of paint or ink that complement distinct elements of her collage. Agin creates for the journey, rather than the destination.
Peggy Dressel is a New Jersey-based fine artist and illustrator. She has studied at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, the National Academy of Design in New York, and Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia. She has participated in many exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout the tri-state area, and is an elected member of the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, New Jersey Watercolor Society, Degas Pastel Society, American Artist Professional League, and Art Center of Northern New Jersey Watercolor Association. Her realistic watercolor works feature transparent washes of changing complimentary colors to produce a light, airy, and luminous effect on her subjects. With this sense of light and value in mind, she intends to evoke specific moods in her viewers.
Ry An died, briefly, when he was 23 and claimed to have had an out of body experience in the process. He left the United States shortly after, spending the next 11 years traveling throughout rural Japan, painting nearly 1,000 post-impressionist landscapes en plein air. After returning to the United States to study illustration and receive his Masters of Fine Arts, he shifted gears towards creating a series of narrative paintings and recycled paper sculptures featuring vulnerable characters in allegorically fraught situations. He takes inspiration from his own past traumatic experiences as a coping method, creating something beautiful from something tragic. His pieces connect to tell his unique story through colorfully represented real-life terrors in an engaging stylized manner.
Sharon Paisner is based in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and has been a full-time artist since her retirement from the education field. A member of the New Jersey Water Color Society, she has studied alongside talented artists while developing and growing her skills through many different workshops. She is drawn to the flowing properties of watercolor painting and how it imitates and describes nature in its remarkable spontaneity. Her use of layers of colors, pattern, and texture create impressionistic, fantasy-like still-life and landscape scenes. Flowers are a recurring theme in Paisner’s works. She is inspired by the living story they tell, beautifully recreating their engaging essence to share and help create an emotional connection with her audience that encourages them to reach beyond the obvious and find meaning with each viewing of the watercolor.
Alfa’s exhibitions are made possible by…
- Johnson & Johnson
- Merck Co
- New Brunswick City Market
- Amboy Bank
- Arts Institute of Middlesex County
- Magyar Bank
- The Bank of Princeton